Gray Matter


Camping Just to Get Away From It All

RT Cunningham | March 15, 2021 (UTC) | Recreation

campingAs I mentioned in my outdoors and hiking niche post, I wouldn’t mind spending some time camping near a lake. I’m talking about camping in the Philippines, not in the United States. Definitely not on an island in Hawaii.

Camping and Tents

Other than in the military, I have bad memories of tents used for camping. Not all of them are bad, of course. The tents we used in mainland USA worked better than the tents we used in Hawaii. The tents in Hawaii tend to sweat (with condensation on the inside) due to temperature changes and high humidity. Let’s not forget the rain.

My brothers and I suffered with a tent that produced a small stream on all the inside outer edges overnight. I could touch the inside surface and watch the water drip to the flooring. It was the wrong kind of tent for the climate, but I couldn’t tell my parents that. We were obviously doing something wrong.

I learned how to do it right with a two-man tent while I was in boot camp in 1978. Although I can’t explain it, it should be enough to say that I survived a rainstorm without getting wet at all. If I ever go camping, I’ll use the same techniques. If it’s the dry season in the Philippines (especially near Subic Bay), I probably won’t have to worry about it at all.

Camping Equipment

Why would I want to go camping near a lake. To go fishing is one option and swimming is another. Anyway…

Bringing electronics and things that run on electricity defeats the purpose of camping. Cell phones, which are battery powered, should only be used for emergencies. If someone can’t go camping without using one for more than that, that person should never leave home.

Since I drink coffee every single day, I’ll obviously need a coffee pot of some type. The type that can survive a campfire, obviously. Since I would probably be stuck with instant coffee, it doesn’t need to do more than just boil water.

I’ll need one or more lanterns of some type. I wouldn’t be able to do what I need to do if I can’t see anything. There’s other camping equipment I’ll need depending on what I intend to do. It won’t do any good to list every possibility. Because of insects, a cot to keep me off the ground would probably be a good idea, even if it isn’t necessary.

My Camping History

I can’t remember every place my parents and siblings camped at. One was an area called Sheep’s Crossing in the White Mountains of Arizona. Another was Rainbow Lake and yet another was called “Big Lake” but I don’t know whether that was in Arizona or California.

We camped in places that had no water nearby. One place was Box Canyon. Sometimes, I didn’t even sleep in a tent. One time, I slept in the back of a flatbed Ford. I only remember it because I watched a lot of bats swooping down to eat up all the mosquitoes I suffered bites from. Those mosquitoes were smaller than those I’ve seen in the Philippines.

I can’t really associate camping with all the field time I spent in the military. The tents were made of canvas, and they had no flooring. When the locations didn’t include any middle eastern desert, we were smart enough to dig trenches around our tents, so the rain would stay outside. We had generators for lighting and electronics. My time doing that soured me to camping for many years.

Honestly, it will be a miracle if I ever go camping again, regardless of what I want to do.

Photo Attribution: chulmin park from Pixabay

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